Monday, June 27, 2011

Rotation Upgrade Options- External (AL Edition)

A few weeks ago I touched on some of the possible internal candidates for a rotation upgrade in the event that Ivan Nova pitched his way out a job.  Since then he has pitched very well (yesterday not included), but with Cash's decree that the Yankees are looking for pitching help and Nova's consistent inconsistency, he still remains a candidate to be replaced.  With Colon and Hughes coming back within the next month, though, the possibility of a trade has diminished a bit, but it's still worth examining the names out there who the Yankees could be interested in.

John Danks- The White Sox lefty was a name we've heard a lot before going on the DL this weekend with an oblique injury.  His 3-8 record doesn't do him justice, as he's put up a 4.21/4.14/3.97 tripleslash in 94 IP over 15 starts this year.  His K rate is low (6.22), but he also only walks 2.68 guys per 9.  He also has a team friendly contract this year and is arbitration eligible in 2012.  He'll probably require more in terms of prospects than other guys because he's young and good, but the Yanks would get another year of team control if they felt the Killer Bs weren't ready next year.  At best, he could become the 3rd best starter on the team, maybe 2nd depending on what happens with Colon.  At worst, he's still better than Nova.  He should be at or near the top of the list when he comes off the DL as the summer progresses.

Edwin Jackson- He strikes out more guys than Danks (7.78 K/9 this season), but also walks more and always has.  But overall this has been a strong season for Jackson, who has been bitten by some bad BABIP luck (4.13 ERA to a 3.08 FIP).  He has good stuff and is still young at 27, but would basically be a rental as he is set to become a FA after this season.  Before the season he probably could have been pried for lesser guys, but with the way he's been pitching, he could cost the Yankees one of the crop of solid Triple-A arms and another guy.  If the Sox fall out of competition in the AL Central before the deadline, that would help bring the asking price down.

Francisco Liriano- The Yankees have been linked to him for a while now, ever since rumors started going around this past offseason that Minnesota was shopping.  Judging by what they've gotten from him this year, they should have moved him when they had the chance.  He's got a 4.98/4.22/4.23 line this year and is walking almost 5 batters per 9.  When you consider that one of his starts was a no-hitter and another almost was, those numbers could look even worse if he pitched to the averages.  His stuff just doesn't seem right this year, and he's always been a question mark in terms of durability and effort.  I just don't see how the Yankees would want to add him, but he is a lefty and they could probably get him for cheaper now that he's pitched so poorly in the first half.

Dan Haren- He was a big trade target rumor at last year's deadline and ended up going to the Angels, seemingly for peanuts.  And he's pitched very well for Anaheim this year, but with them sitting 3rd in AL West and trending downward thanks to their punchless offense, they could be looking to deal at the deadline.  He's lost a little bit of the bite on his stuff since his early days, but Haren can still get it done with the cutter to the tune of a 3.05/2.74/3.05 line and an almost 5.5/1 K/BB ratio.  Haren would slot in right behind CC as the #2 starter, but he won't come cheap.  Last year the rumor was Joba, ManBan, and a couple of other guy for Haren, so with Joba out now you have to imagine the deal starts with ManBan and maybe includes Montero or Sanchez to even get talks started.  A steep price to pay, but for somebody who still has a few years of team control left, it could be worth it.

Spitting Hot Fire

Some food for thought on a Monday off day morning:

- The Horse in June- .333/.427/.613 in 75 ABs w/ 20 RBI.

- Robbie Cano in June- .307/.365/.466 in 88 ABs w/ 16 R.

- Gardner in June- .347/.420/.500 in 72 ABs w/ 8 XBH.

- Jorge in June- .389/.424/.537 in 54 ABs w/ 8 RBI.

- Swish in June- .316/.433/.632 in 76 ABs w/ 18 RBI and 17 BB.

Combine that with Teix and C-Grand having productive months and the offense is really starting to come together.  The patience and clutch hitting is starting to catch up with the HR rate, and the Yankee lineup is not one people are excited about facing.  CC is still throwing gems, D-Rob is flourishing in the setup role, and Mo is striking out the side like it's 1996.  Yes indeed, it's good times all around.  Somebody please hit the music!